This thought quickly pops into my mind: I should have wore my rain boots today. A second later, I mean literally one second later, I see a man walking past me, in the opposite direction, barefoot!
I did a quick but discrete whip-neck back, to confirm what I just saw. Indeed, as puddles formed along the concrete, this man was walking down Washington Street, within the center of the main business district of Chicago, at midday, completely barefoot.
And although seeming slightly militant, just slightly, all others things considered, he seemed sane. Granted, there is the very rare possibility that he chose to walk barefoot. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt that that was not the case, in this instant.
Message! Some people do not even have shoes at all, or the luxury to choose from two or more pairs, due to the weather or occasion. This made me ponder another aspect of what we daily take for granted as "necessity." This is not even a matter of first-world privilege and third-world oppression: poverty is everywhere! Let me take you around certain neighborhoods in Chicago. Let me take you blocks away from my "campus town;" North Champaign.
When I came home that evening, I told my family about my thought provoking highlight of the day. My story reminded my Aunt of the following Yoruba Proverb and her explanation followed.
Ẹnití ó ni orí, kò ni filà. Ẹnití ó ni filà, kò ni orí.
Someone has a head, but does not have a hat. Someone has a hat, but does not have a head.This proverb is used when someone misuses an opportunity or entirely misses an opportunity.
This is a reminder that whereever you are right now, and whatever you think could be the ultimate worst scenario in the world for you, always consider that there are countless people that would trade places with you in a heartbeat.
Appreciate with thanks what you have, and use it wisely, be resourceful. I am not saying be forever complacent with your current state of affairs. This does not substitute prayer and supplication for change, increase or what have you. But, just the same, focus on and be a faithful steward of, everything you do have. And may the above Yoruba Proverb not be said as true for you or me. K'Olorun je k'ani mejeji.